Hitting the road this summer with the family? Here are some tips that may help the trip go smoothly.

Everyone complains about traveling with a baby. The stereotypical baby crying on a plane is many people's travel nightmare.

But try traveling with a toddler. If you ask me, that's worse.

Babies are still able to be picked up and taken where you need to go, when you need to get there.

Toddlers can drag their feet, slow you down and are much more difficult to carry around.

Not to mention when the baby cries people feel bad for the baby. When a toddler cries people look at the parent like they're doing something wrong.

So how can you keep rest stop meltdowns and airport drama to a minimum? Here's some things that have worked for me.

After several summer road trips with my oldest (now 4-years-old), I'd like to think I've picked up a few tricks along the way.

1. Skip the markers can get water art books instead.


These things are awesome, No mess and you can use the same ones again and again.

2. Get yourself a clipboard.


If you do go conventional crayons or the kids just want to draw their own pictures, a clipboard will go a long way. Gives them a solid surface and holds down the pages from those open window winds.

3. Take a potty with you


I don't know about your child, but mine never wants to admit she needs to go. And if she couldn't go at the rest stop, you know she's going to want to go as soon as we drove away. So when she was first potty training, we simply took the potty with us. That way if we needed to pull over and go wherever, we were prepared. Of course this tip probably means nothing to those raising boys.

4. Bring a collection box


A cheap, clear, plastic tupperware container is perfect for this. We used ours to find "treasures" from every stop along our route. It was a great way to motivate our daughter to get out of the car and walk around a bit when we stopped. And when the trip was done we had free souvenirs from everywhere we went.

5. Take a baking sheet with you


Sure this sounds weird, but a baking sheet and some magnets can be super entertaining in the car. And, like the water books, are much easier to clean up afterwards. They can make pictures with the magnets, play tic-tac-toe, practice spelling and more.

6. Make/Buy an 'I Spy' Bingo game


Before hitting the road think of some things you are likely to see in your travels. Street signs, lamp posts, trains, other vehicles. Then try to find pictures of these things online to make a Bingo-like grid. Your child can stare out the window trying to find as many of the pictures as they can or you can make two boards and see who fills theirs first.

Plenty of travel fun without the need for screens.